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THEY UNDER-PERFORMED! Saraki’s chief of staff dumps APC, says no intention to join other party

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Hakeem Baba-Ahmad, Chief of staff to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Monday, dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress for allegedly underperforming in the country.

Baba-Ahmad, who made this known in Kaduna while speaking with journalists, said he had already sent his resignation letter to the party chairman of his ward.

Baba-Ahmad said,

“This statement is to inform the public of my resignation from APC. I have sent a formal letter to this effect to chairman of my ward.

“This has been a very difficult decision, to leave a party I helped to form and made my humble contributions to put in power. After three years, however, I need to say that the APC has grossly under-performed and has forfeited any claim to my loyalty and continue membership.

“I do not believe in all conscience, that it should be trusted and encouraged to continue to govern our great country beyond 2019. I am not leaving to join another party. This is my decision and mine alone. It has nothing to do with the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“It’s a decision taken after due consultations with Akida Group, a group that has predated my appointment as Chief of Staff to the President of the Senate. I will remain active in politics, as this is the main avenue for salvaging our nation from rising insecurity, poverty and divisions.”

Baba-Ahmed was one-time chairman of Congress for Progressive Change and interim chairman of APC in Kaduna state and formerly a secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

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Insecurity: Buhari blames lean resources and Covid-19

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Despite the incessant killings and attacks, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday applauded his administration for the return of a “calmer atmosphere” to parts of the Northeast – a zone fighting hard to end Boko Haram insurgency.

While applauding his administration, President Buhari lamented that lean resources and the effect of COVID-19 pandemic had slowed down the efforts to crush the insurgents.

Recall that President Buhari met with governors of the troubled geopolitical zone and top security chiefs.

This is coming days after the convoy of Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, the chairman of the Northeast Governors’ Forum was attacked on his way to Baga in his state.

Reacting on the attack, the Borno state governor, Zulum blamed sabotage in the military for the attack in which two of his aides were injured.

Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina quoted the President as saying during the meeting that:

“We have problems of resources and security. You know what we inherited. The people of the Northeast will appreciate what this administration has done.

“The general report I am getting, apart from the conventional ones from the intelligence sources, is that the Army should do better and this is the truth.

“It is so often coming to me that I have to believe it. I listened to your representation, the governor (of Borno) who is on the hotspot now in the Northeast.

Adamawa, Bauchi and the rest of them are enjoying peace. I hope they are respecting the sacrifice made by the military.

“I assure you that the government is doing its best. Lack of resources has hit us very hard. COVID-19 is a phenomenon. It has no respect for colour, you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t hear it. The United States and us are the same. It is a fantastic phenomenon. I think we should all go back to God.”

The President, however, assured the governors that his administration would not rest in its efforts to restore peace to the troubled zone.

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He added:

“I assure you North East governors, especially the governor of Borno, that we go to bed and wake up thinking about you and how to secure our country. That is the fundamental responsibility of a government; security. In our party, we recognise this. We campaigned on three fundamental issues: security, economy and fighting corruption.

“Nigerians, we thank God, understood us and they voted for us. In 2019, we went around the whole country, saying the same thing and apologising for not doing better, but we are doing our best. I think Nigerians believe us and we did our best.”

The governors said Boko Haram has been recruiting people in the region to perpetuate their criminal activities and attack on the people, because of prevalent poverty among citizens.

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Addressing the newsmen after the meeting with the president, Zulum who led five other governors to the meeting said they highlighted the key security challenges in the region before the President.

Zulum explained that they made it known that creating an enabling environment for the people to return to their homes and farmlands would reduce the influence of Boko Haram in the zone.

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He said:

“One of the root causes is that of access to farmlands, people need to go back to their farmlands. People need to be resettled in their original homes so that they can restart their means of livelihood.

“This is one of the reasons the insurgents are recruiting more into the sect. Creating an enabling environment that will enable the people to go about their normal duties will no doubt reduce the cases of insurgency.”

He said the governors recommended that the police should be provided with adequate equipment to bridge the existing gap in manpower.

The governor added:

“The governments of the zone have commended the efforts of the Federal Government in securing the zone. However, we told Mr. President that there is need for the Federal Government to address the causes of insurgency, which are not limited to the endemic poverty, hunger among others.”

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Police vow to bring killers of Gov. Obiano’s aide to book

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The Assistant Inspector-General of Police  (AIG) in charge of Zone 13, AIG Danmallam Mohammed, has vowed to bring killers of the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Willie Obiano on Security, late Azubuike Ekwegwalu, to book. 
Mohammed, who made the pledge on Monday in an interview with newsmen in his office at Ukpo near Awka, described the incident as “sad and most unfortunate.”
The AIG said he had directed the Anambra Police Commissioner, CP  John Abang to commence an investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“I am sure that the commissioner of police will intensify intelligence to track down the criminals and make sure that they are brought to book.
“The people of the state should not express fear or have sleepless nights over the development.
“They should know that in larger societies like this, there are pockets of crimes,” he said.
The AIG assured the people, especially family members of the deceased, that the culprits would be apprehended, no matter how highly placed they were.
He also expressed concerns over the increasing wave of cultism in the state, warning cultists to denounce their membership or face the wrath of the law.
The Newsmen recalls that Ekwegbalu, 43, was allegedly stabbed to death with a kitchen knife at his residence in the  Commissioners’ Quarters, Awka, by unknown assailants on Sunday.
The Police Command’s Spokesman in the state, SP Haruna Mohammed already said a suspect seen within the premises around 1:30 a.m. on a fateful day had been arrested for further investigations.
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JUST IN: Lebanon’s government resigns over Beirut blast

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Lebanon

Lebanon’s government resigned Monday as the fallout from last week’s deadly explosion deepened a political crisis in the country’s blast-ravaged capital.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab said he would resign alongside all of his ministers.

“We will back down and stand with the people. We need to open the door for the people,” he said in an address to the nation.

The move comes after enraged protesters and world leaders alike demanded political reform following the Aug. 4 blast that killed almost 160 people and injured thousands more.

Protesters took to the streets of Beirut again Sunday with a video showing what appeared to be tear gas canisters being fired at demonstrators who had congregated in a street near the parliament.

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Last week’s blast, which sent a mushroom-like cloud into the sky above Beirut’s port, dealt a blow to a country already on its knees.

Nearly a week since the devastating explosion, public anger shows no signs of abating.

The blast was triggered when a warehouse fire ignited hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate, according to Diab.

It sent a shock wave that scarred the coastline of Beirut, destroying hundreds of buildings and leaving many homeless.

The protesters blame the ruling elite for chronic mismanagement and corruption that is believed to be behind the explosion and the country’s broader issues.

“You literally blew us up. We have nothing left to lose,” a group of protesters screamed at a demonstration on Saturday.

The scenes of public fury came as world leaders pledged millions in emergency aid to the country’s explosion-ravaged capital in a teleconference co-organized by France and the United Nations.

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President Donald Trump was among the participants, as well as leaders from Gulf Arab states, China and the European Union.

“The international community, Lebanon’s closest friends and partners, will not let Lebanese people down,” the chair of the conference said in a concluding statement on Sunday, according to the French mission to the U.N.

The participants agreed to help meet the immediate needs of Beirut and the Lebanese people through emergency assistance programs and agreed it would be “directly delivered to the Lebanese population.”

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They warned that any support of the economic and financial recovery of the country would be contingent on Lebanese authorities committing to economic and political reforms demanded by the Lebanese people, according to the statement.

The government’s resignation, however, is not a panacea for Lebanon’s problems.

The country is facing its worst economic crisis in its modern history and is afflicted by skyrocketing unemployment, rising prices and a plummeting Lebanese pound. Hunger is spreading throughout the country of 6.8 million people.

 

NBC

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